Larry J. Hanley, 62, Dies; Helped Rid Transit Union of Corruption

Larry J. Hanley, a transit workers leader who championed union democracy and denounced organized crime’s infiltration of the labor movement, died on May 7 in Columbia, Md. He was 62.

His daughter, Monica Hanley, said the cause was pulmonary disease.

Mr. Hanley, a former bus driver in Brooklyn and Staten Island and labor militant, won the presidency of the 200,000-member Amalgamated Transit Union in 2010 after challenging the incumbent’s lax oversight of its largest New York City local, which represented 15,000 school bus drivers.

“He pressed the international to more aggressively attack the problem of corruption in the Queens local, and its failure to do so was one reason he ended up running for international president,” said Joshua B. Freeman, a distinguished professor of history at Queens College and the City University of New York Graduate Center.

“He also helped move the union to the left,” Professor Freeman said.

Mr. Hanley’s predecessor as international president, Warren S. George, failed to place Local 1181 in receivership in 2005 after its president, Salvatore Battaglia, was charged in a racketeering conspiracy indictment linking him to the Genovese crime family. Mr. George did so in 2006 only after Mr. Battaglia was indicted a second time and was forced to resign as a condition of being granted bail.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Thelma (Mayo) Hanley; their son, Lawrence Jr.; and a brother, James.

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